Financial Aid

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2024-25 Financial Aid Processing
The College is working to transition 2024-25 data to the new Student Portal, which impacts processing of FAFSAs and awarding of financial aid. Please note that the 'Financial Aid Overview' data on the Student Portal may not be complete as we work through the transition. We thank you for your patience as we work hard to review records for accuracy, at which point we will resume applying new awards. 

If you have not yet submitted your 2024-25 FAFSA, we recommend doing so as soon as possible.

In order to be considered for federal and state aid – and some scholarships – you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year. We encourage every eligible student to file a FASFA, regardless of whether you think you will qualify for any aid. The U.S. Department of Education administers the online FAFSA and millions of students complete the FAFSA each year.

FAFSA Completion Assistance

Submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a must if you’re hoping to take advantage of federal and state grants, federal loans, and some Penn College scholarships. Unsure where to start? Work with a member of our experienced team who will walk you through how to complete this important aid application.


Parent Information

Most students under the age of 24 will need to include information about their parent(s) on their FAFSA, even if they live separately or their parent(s) will not help them financially.
More information about dependent and independent students from Federal Student Aid.

What if your parents are divorced or separated or never married?
More information about which parent(s) to include for the 2024-25 FAFSA, from Federal Student Aid.

FSA ID/ Account

You and, if needed, a parent, sign your FAFSA electronically using the FSA ID. If you do not have a FSA ID/ account , you should create one at least 1-3 weekdays before you start your FAFSA. The same is true for all FAFSA contributors - each contributor needs their own FSA ID/ account. Create an account.

Financial Aid Direct Data Exchange

The Financial Aid Direct Data Exchange (FA-DDX) allows FAFSA contributors to give consent and approval for the IRS to securely provide federal tax information to the U.S. Department of Education. The FA-DDX:

  • Simplifies your FAFSA completion process
  • Reduces the odds of error on your FAFSA
  • Significantly reduces the likelihood that your FAFSA is selected for Federal Verification

What you need to complete your FAFSA.

Submit your FAFSA

Federal Verification

Fewer than 1 out of 10 students who submit a FAFSA are selected by the U.S. Department of Education for a process called Federal Verification.  The Financial Aid Office is here to assist you if you are selected.

Learn more about Federal Verification

Special Circumstances

Did your family experience a significant reduction in income since calendar year 2022? As a result, the financial data on the 2024-25 FAFSA may not reflect your family’s recent or current financial situation. This could be because of a job loss, reduced wages, divorce, separation, or another reason.

If you're an accepted or current student and your family’s 2023 or 2024 total income (both taxable and non-taxable) is significantly lower than it was in 2022, let's have a conversation to help us better understand your family's circumstances and determine if a FAFSA adjustment is possible. Please contact us with any questions.

Unusual Circumstances

The following information applies only to students who answer ‘No’ to all of the FAFSA dependency questions.

Students who have no contact with their parent(s) and are unable to initiate contact due to ‘unusual circumstances’ or because doing so creates a risk to students, should answer the FAFSA question about ‘Student Unusual Circumstances’ as ‘Yes’. 

Examples of Unusual Circumstances, as defined by the  U.S. Department of Education include: 

  • Left home due to an abusive or threatening environment
  • Are abandoned or estranged from parent(s), and not adopted
  • A victim of human trafficking
  • Legally granted refugee or asylum status
  • Parent(s) incarcerated

By answering ‘Yes’ on the FAFSA to the ‘Student Unusual Circumstances’ question, you can complete and submit your FAFSA, and will be granted ‘provisional independent’ status.  After receiving your FAFSA, the Financial Aid team will contact you and may request documentation in order to make a final determination of your dependency status, which you will be notified of via email. 

Please understand that even for those students who we approve their dependency status as  ‘independent’,  they will typically need one or more educational loans to help cover the cost of education 

Note that the following student circumstances are not considered as Unusual Circumstances:

  • Live separate from parents or are not financially dependent on their parents
  • Are not claimed as a dependent by their parents on a federal tax return
  • Parents are unwilling or unable to take out a loan or help fund the cost of education
  • Parents are reluctant to provide their information on the FAFSA

Please contact the Financial Aid team with any questions.

Learn More

Explore the links below for additional resources to help before and after completing your FAFSA.


Financial Aid

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